On Cloud Ten


Two thousand and ten is, they say, the year of the Cloud. Yes, I know they've been saying that for a few years, but it really does seem to be a technology that is heading skywards (ouch, sorry) this year. And I'm about to climb on board. Though, hopefully, not equipped with pan pipes or tendering my CV to St. Peter. I've finally managed to dig an escape tunnel and flee the clutches of Enterprise Library 5.0 now we've got the Hands On Labs done, and before they think of anything else I need to write about.

And just to prove that this is the start of something big, all the global sales teams here at Microsoft were treated to a special presentation and training event about how it changes the whole technology business paradigm (or something marketing-speak like that). Meanwhile, I'm just starting to catch up on the Windows Azure Guidance (WAG) project here at p&p. A project that I should have been working on for the last three months. So I need to do some serious "accelerated learning", as they call it in the trade.

However, even though I work for p&p in Redmond, I live in England and am employed by Microsoft UK. Which is functionally part of the sales and marketing group (SMG). And, therefore, the exciting Cloud Training event is mandatory for all staff. OK, so usually I just keep my head down when SMG stuff is floating around, but this time they are monitoring take-up (and there is a test at the end) so I did the online version of the training this week. And I'm still recovering. Normally, training for my role involves placid activities such as reading books about software architecture and code languages. But that's not the way they do it in SMG.

It's odd because I spent 20 years pretending to be a salesman for a variety of different manufacturers and wholesalers, so I should be hardened to this stuff. But it's a good thing I was debugging some sample apps at the same time or I reckon I'd have been chewing lumps out of the edge of the desk. Not only was there a weather report by an unbelievably excitable young lady about "increasing cloud across all areas", but even an American Football match between all of the rival vendors with an excruciatingly over-the-top commentary. Though I guess these were only the light-hearted fillings between the hard sell and marketing penetration stuff.

Still, I passed the test and got my course credit, so I should be safe for a few months. And I actually did learn quite a bit about the market that Cloud targets, and its relevance from a business point of view. I guess it will be useful as we document the technical scenarios and provide implementation guidance through our WAG project. I just need to be really careful to avoid any obvious (but oh so tempting) puns around the project name. And just when the World Cup is starting...

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